European stocks post six straight days of losses
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* Atos slumps as it eyes split; CEO quits
* STOXX 600 reverses gains, falls over 1%
* Akzo Nobel falls after profit warning
By Sruthi Shankar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar
June 14 (Reuters) - European equities reversed early gains on Tuesday to extend their selloff for a sixth straight session on worries over aggressive U.S. interest rate hikes and a potential recession.
The continent-wide STOXX 600 index .STOXX declined 1.3% after sliding 2.4% to over three-month lows on Monday.
Health care .SXDP and industrial stocks .SXNP led sectoral losses in Europe, while battered banks .SX7P edged 1.1% higher.
Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index confirmed on Monday it was in a bear market, after shedding 20% since its record closing high, on growing fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve's aggressive monetary policy could tip the economy into recession.
Focus is on the Fed's policy decision due on Wednesday, with many expecting a big three-quarter-percentage point rate hike following hot inflation print last week.
"The risks of a Fed-induced recession have increased, in our view, and the chances of a recession in the next six months have risen," Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management said in a note.
"Historically, during periods when inflation has been above 3%, value sectors have outperformed. We favor the energy sector and the UK market, which is heavily weighted to value stocks."
Caught in a broader selloff, the benchmark STOXX 600 .STOXX has shed almost 17% since hitting an all-time high in January as investors grapple with record-high inflation in the euro zone, tightening financial conditions and a slowdown in China's economy.
"If people are worrying about a global recession, Europe's economic engine, Germany, is a very export driven economy and that would be a potential problem as well," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
"There is also a nagging sense that the European banking system is still not in the best of health and that would be another potential weight on growth."
Consumer discretionary stocks like Ocado OCDO.L and Kingfisher KGF.L fell 10.8% and 4.4%, respectively, on concerns of stagflation and worries of weaker consumer spending.
Oil & gas stocks .SXEP rose 0.8% as crude prices advanced on concerns about tight global supplies.
Shares of Atos ATOS.PA plunged 23.4% after the French IT company revealed a plan to split its operations and sell assets as well as the departure of Chief Executive Officer Rodolphe Belmer.
Dutch paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel AKZO.AS dropped 4.2% after warning of a hit to operating income due to lockdowns in China and weak demand for decorative paints in Europe.
Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Anil D'Silva
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